Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch Won’t Make Return vs. Vikings


The Seahawks won’t have Beast Mode in the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Vikings, but it looks like they have another backup who’s ready to make a difference.

Seattle joins three other teams leaning on their backup running backs for the Wild Card weekend. They’re still 4-point favorites over the Vikings on Sunday, but the news that Lynch won’t play this weekend changes things for the offense.

Seattle’s been dealing with injured running backs all season. Lynch missed time earlier in the season, and he hasn’t played since Week 10. After seeing Thomas Rawls emerge as a potential superstar in their system when Lynch went down, the Seahawks had to scramble to replace their rookie breakout player after he broke his ankle in Week 14.

They went to a familiar name: Christine Michael, who, at that point, had been on the street as a free agent after bouncing around to Dallas and Washington. After appearing in three games, there’s some cautious optimism starting to emerge again that Michael will live up to his insane hype over the past few years.

The Seahawks couldn’t get anything done on the ground in their Week 16 loss to the Rams, but this past week, against a very good Arizona defense, Michael had a few wow plays that gave Seattle fans some hope that he can shoulder a big load if Beast Mode can’t immediately contribute in the bitter cold of Minnesota’s outdoor stadium.

In that Week 17 win over Arizona, Michael had 102 yards on 17 carries, and per PFF’s tracking, led all running backs last week, with a 171.3 elusive rating after forcing five missed tackles forced and averaging 5.82 yards per carry after contact.

He had his best run on the Seahawks’ first drive. Seattle set up in formation that they use frequently, with extremely wide splits by their receivers, stretching the defense nearly to the sidelines on both sides. This makes it 7-on-7 in the middle of the field and it gets Seattle the numbers game on the ground that they really like.

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